Plumpton Pit Stop has been a very long labour of love.
Our first day at Plumpton Pit Stop was spent removing rubbish that had sat undisturbed for around 15 years. This included a shelf full of empty, yet unopened cans of lemonade and coke (very disturbing if you think about it), old tyres, a settee, bits of old carpet, a few unwanted cupboards and one of those VISA swiping machines that we all used to use on a daily basis before the full onset of the computer age.
Being fully aware that the local community have a fondness for the Plumpton Pit Stop we wanted to change the exterior as little as possible – focusing therefore initially on the exterior, removing the old paint and replacing the rotten timbers of the structure and weather boarding the character has been preserved whilst bringing her back to life.
Unchecked weeds and moss had grown all over the roof with one plant climbing the telephone wire. I am sure the plant thought that it could also liberate nearby buildings. A whole day was spent removing the weeds and dirt from the roof. We then tackled repairing the damage caused. Thank fully the owners the of the property to the rear have encouraged the works all the way through. We therefore thank the St Johns for being great neighbours and welcoming us into their garden. They have some very friendly and interesting looking hens.
Roof repairs needed more than a little tweek. We removed the roof tiles only to find that the majority of the battens had crumbled many years before. The tiles were being held in place by the roots and dirt that had been trapped over the years. We didn’t feel at that stage that it was necessary to replace the entire roof. We replaced the battens without disturbing the ridge tiles and edge/verge tiles as this would have required a lot more work on our part. The roof was weather tight after we had spent a week of solid work at Plumpton Pit Stop.
If anyone can remember the door and windows were all in desperate need of a lot of tender loving care. Days of hot weather made the work very enjoyable especially when we had to smash the old glass from their frames. The only thing ‘for boys’ that can beat smashing glass is of course blowing something up or burning something down. The paint and rotten wood was removed from the fames and any repair work undertaken by splicing in new wood. This all proved quite straight forward. The door on the other hand was a different matter. This was so rotten that it was actually falling apart and had lost a lot of its structural integrity.
We took the door off and all of the rotten timbers were either replaced or repaired. The bottom rail was totally replaced in hardwood. The lower section of the Stiles were cut out and replaced also in hardwood. The Muntins were removed and the lower section replaced in hardwood. The lower panels were removed and repaired. The entire door was then glued back together, filled in places as required, primed and painted using a linseed oil based paint.
After painting the newly repaired window frames and door we set about installing double glazed units. We want to retain as much of the integrity and look of the original property as possible. We chose a slim unit using toughened laminated glass. This not only provides a very much appreciated heat retention but also provides added security. One of the units has since been broken. Don’t worry we are on the case and will be replacing the unit when we next get the chance.
We feel that Plumptom Pit Stop still however retains the character that everyone has come accustomed to enjoy.
Our first task involved taking up the existing concrete floor. Then removing a further 300mm of earth so that we could add a gas membrane to also act as a Damp Proof Membrane. This membrane also stops the ingress of hyrdo-carbons. We then added insulation, a new concrete slab and finished with a 22mm oak flooring. This was probably the most arduous task and the least fun. It took a solid 7 days to take up and remove the existing concrete slab and the earth needed. To ensure that any hydro-carbons (that might be lurking in the earth below the building) could escape if they entered the building from below we were required to install a vent pipe that vented either side of the building. Instead of using standard plastic vent covers we used much more aesthetically pleasing clay air bricks slightly raised.
Next on the list involved adding joists over the concrete floor. Then installed insulation between and above so that we could fix the plywood flooring and then lay the oak flooring. Added to this we fixed further battening to the walls to add further insulation between and above the battens and attach plasterboard to almost complete the build.
We were totally unaware what the end result would look like at the Plumpton Pit Stop and tackled the problem ‘off paper’. That is to say we didn’t have a clear and concise end result for the interior design. This was a very organic process.
That said we have managed to add a further floor in the roof space for storage and printing leaving the main space open as a computer and model making area.
It took us around four days at Plumpton Pit Stop to fix the 22mm oak parquet flooring around the edge of the interior with 22mm tongue and grooved oak to the main floor area using secret fixings. We then started making the built in cupboards. An oak worktop and structural plywood shelving and draws. Plumpton Pit Stop has been finished internally using three different colours – Wild Mushroom, Surf pelican and Platinum Sage. To ensure that the space retained its open plan feel and left the walls as uncluttered as possible we made a tall bookcase in structural plywood with grey rubber casters to ensure it could be moved around for easy of use.
Plumpton Pit Stop really is a little Tardise, with thought provoking, creative thinking Architects inside instead of Dr who travels the universe with a girl at the side and sporting two hearts. We don’t yet have a proper set of stairs up to the first floor so it might well be easy for a Dalek in the battle of the Pit Stop!!
That will however change as we are currently designing a set of extendable fold down stairs. These will have alternate treads with the ladder forming part of the ceiling. Cleverly designed to lift away and leave the main area free for design work and model making.
We have also commissioned a beautiful pair of stools that will sit well in our new office.
DD Architects had the end goal of creating a lovely space that we could all be proud of. I hope that you also feel that we have achieved a successful end result.
Please come in and see us we always like to meet more people….